Getting Taken For a Ride

“According to the NTU (National Association of Public Transport Companies), public transport is responsible for the movement of 59 million passengers in Brazil. For Ailton Brasiliense, a 35-year veteran researcher of public transport and employed by the NTU, the low investment reflects itself in the pocketbooks of Brazilians.

– The lack of exclusive avenues for buses, the bumper-to-bumper traffic, bad streets and highways, and a general lack of city planning, pushed the population to the edges of the city, making long bus trips necessary and contributing to the high fares. Since there’s no investment, many passengers stop using public transport and buy old cars. What that means is more traffic, pollution and a fall in the quality of life in the cities, basically chaos. ” – Source

My Take

That was an excerpt from a story that ran in O Globo today about how some of the people who come to work by bus often can’t pay to return home at the end of a long day. Needless to say, I’ve been there, except I spent the initial bus fare on food. Anyways, the article then spans out to look a bit at the bigger picture, which is what I chose to translate above. I must say that if 37 million people per week can’t pay the bus fare to return home, then accepting to be heavily involved and invested in major world sporting events shouldn’t be the first priority. Then again, it’s all about making returns on the government’s bets and, for them, shelling out billions to improve the lives of average citizens, who want nothing more than to be productive and feed their families, will not generate the right kind of return on their investment. Of course, the influx of foreign interest tied in with capital from the government and big business will create jobs in Brazil but I think an analogy for what is happening can explain things better.

If I were to list the Eyes On Brazil articles with the most views on the sidebar for readers to click on, that would do what, exactly? It would make those articles become even more widely-read and thereby create a cycle of popularity and a high likelyhood of reinvestment in such articles. Using this example, my most-viewed articles are like the neighborhoods of the Zona Sul in Rio, and the articles that no one sees or remembers, the periphery. Now do those low views have to do with a lack of structural soundness and personal investment in the ‘bad’ articles? Did I not write them well enough or source them from reputable places? Can I improve those articles by reworking the words I already wrote or must I erase everything in order to look at things freshly? The only way out and upward is to admit my mistakes, address the issues and get to work on writing a better piece. First, though, I have to care.


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